Ardrossan Winton Rovers
Winton in Mourning
Boss Frye Departs
BOMBSHELL news was delivered to Ardrossan Winton Rovers fans last week when Championship winning manager Derek Frye quit the Super First Division club to join Premier Division outfit Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
The 55 year old, who had been at Winton Park for six years, confirmed he was stepping down last Wednesday to become co-boss alongside Jimmy Lindsay at Adamslie Park.
But while admitting he was sorry to be leaving, Derek who landed Winton the District League title last season as well as winning the North Ayrshire Cup twice, said he simply could not resist the new challenge.
He told Sportscene "It has been a wrench for me to leave. Rob Roy had been interested in me before the start of the season but I said I was staying here. But this time Winton gave them permission to talk to me and I decided to move on."
"To be honest I might not get a chance like this again and it's a challenge I am very much looking forward to. I don't know a single Rob Roy player or have not seen them play, but I will have a look at the squad. We are sitting fourth in the Premier League at the moment but have played a few more games than other teams but the aim must be to stay in the Premier Divsion."
The manager said goodbye to his players at a training session on Wednesday morning and was quick to pay tribute to them as well as others behind the scenes.
"I have to stress that the players are the most important people at the club, I have worked with a very good squad and could not have achieved any of the success without them. Also it has been great to work with the Chairman Dougie Rae and guys like Pat Breen, John Sheehan, Sam Morrison, Pat Cawley, Bobby Macnamara, Ronnie Anderson and Willie Kean."
Derek remains hopeful that Winton, who are riding high in fourth place are still in with a good shout of promotion to the Premier Division.
"I think they are capable of going up and hopefully they will do that."
Asked what were the highlights of his six years in charge Frye said: "There have been a lot of highlights but our successes have been memorable, it was a great achievement to clinch promotion and to win trophies as well as reaching the last 16 of the Scottish Junior Cup and the Quarter Finals of the West of Scotland Cup."
Chairman Dougie Rae aid Frye's departure had not come as a major shock.
"I am really sorry to see Derek go, but it didn't really come as a big surprise as other clubs were bound to be looking at him after the success he has had. We would like to wish him well and there has been absolutely no fall out."
He added "Derek has done a fantastic job, but a lot of his success is also thanks to the work of myself as Chairman and the rest of the committee, who have worked so hard. The first season I was here we just missed out on promotion, we had a refletion on how things had gone, made a few changes and the next season we won the league."
The Chairman has put assistant Hugh Flynn in charge as the club hunt for a successor with an appointment looking almost imminent, but he wants to make sure their progress continues on and off the field.
"We are not after just a new manager, but someone who is going in the same direction as the committee. I would like to say to the players at Winton that they are all valued and have made a major contribution to the club. Things can't stay the same forever but they will all be assessed and it could be a good opportunity for some of them."
This article has been reproduced by kind permission the editor, Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald.